The Effects of Entertaining Politics on American Society

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Popular television host, Stephen Colbert, was famously quoted on the premiere of his show saying, “Anyone can read the news.” In 1996, The Daily Show, often referred to as TDS, originated on the popular television channel, Comedy Central. Its goal was to provide the viewers with political information, drawing them in and holding them by making political events, situations, parties, and people the subject of a comedic target. The extreme outlook of politics displayed on the popular television series can easily turn people away from these programs, however, it also attracts a large group of avid followers. Each host takes a humorous and sometimes crude view on politics and world events. The Colbert Report, debuting in 2005, is a spin off series of The Daily Show but oppositely focuses on a conservative viewpoint, while the Daily Show has a more liberal voice. Jon Stewart is the host of TDS and his rival, the host of the Colbert Report, is Stephen Colbert. Comedic news television programs, such as the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, provide factual information to people who have turned away from traditional news sources, however, the entertainment that is found in the cynical outlook held by such shows can lead to public ignorance of politics and further youth disengagement in politics in the future. Many people have claimed that each show stretches the truth and falsifies statistics in order to get a higher percentage of viewers or to portray their own political opinions or the political opinions of the characters which they commonly portray. The Daily Show has always had a more liberal view, which stays true to the current host, Jon Stewart, and his personal political opinions. Stephen Colbert, on the other hand, is criticized f... ... middle of paper ... ...aving another form of news outlet, as well as TDS or the Colbert Report, such as newspapers, radio stations, or television programs will help the upcoming generation be prepared for a life with political involvement and support of the government. Works Cited Amarasingam, Amarnath. The Stewart/Colbert Effect: Essays on the Real Impacts of Fake News. Jefferson, NC: McFarland &,, 2011. Print. Carr, David. "In Boston, CCN Stumbles in Rush to Break News." The New York Times, 21 Apr. 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. Cassino, Dan, and Yasemin Besen-Cassino. Consuming Politics: Jon Stewart, Branding, and the Youth Vote in America. Madison [N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2009. Print. Jones, Jeffrey P. Entertaining Politics: Satiric Television and Political Engagement. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. Print. Miller, Jonathon. Personal interview. 28 October 2013.
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